The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Rolling over used to be a 4-month milestone, but now it is happening later, at around 5 months. Put your baby on his stomach for at least a half-hour a day to build upper-body strength. Now is also a good time to begin playing simple sound-gesture games, such as "Where is Thumbkin?" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider." Your baby may begin to make trilling, growling and lip-smacking sounds.
By 3 months, your baby can grasp a rattle that's placed in his hand and bring his fingers into his mouth. He also can lift his head 45 degrees while lying on his tummy and can push his legs down when held standing. If your baby does not smile socially, coo or lift his head 45 degrees at 3 months, talk with your pediatrician.
If getting your baby to sleep is a singing, rocking and jiggling process that’s exhausting the whole family, you may want to consider sleep training. “The process involves teaching your baby a new way of going to sleep, usually from being rocked or fed to sleep to falling asleep in her crib,” says Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., author of Sleep Deprived No More (Da Capo Press).
Measles, pertussis (whooping cough) and Hib meningitis—all vaccine-preventable diseases—are making a comeback in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the time of writing, 2011 was on track to be another record year for measles, a potentially deadly illness; 10 infants died in California in 2010 from pertussis; and five Minnesota children contracted Hib meningitis in 2008, resulting in one death.
When your colicky baby is crying endlessly, we're sure that means a splitting headache for you as a mom. But a 2012 found that mom's migraines—which are a painful fact of life for many people—may actually be the reason for her baby's colic, according to a report on CBSNews.com.
The study from researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that "mothers who suffer migraines are more than twice as likely to have babies with colic," CBSNews.com reported.
“Colicky” is a label given to babies who cry for more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than three weeks. But most experts believe it is an overused, ambiguous term at best. “‘Colic’ is an old-fashioned term that actually means ‘upset stomach,’ which it usually isn’t,” says pediatrician Harvey N. Karp, M.D., author of the book and DVD The Happiest Baby on the Block (Bantam).
When choosing an alternative therapy for your baby, it’s essential to know what really works and is safe for the younger set. “There’s so little scientific evidence for safety or efficacy when it comes to the use of natural therapies for babies,” says New York City pediatrician Stuart Ditchek, M.D., author of Healthy Child, Whole Child (HarperCollins).
In most cases, your baby’s fever is nothing for you to get hot and bothered about, according to a new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report published in Pediatrics. “Fever is not an illness,” explains Janice E. Sullivan, M.D., co-author of the report and a professor of pediatrics at University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky. In fact, fever can be beneficial because it triggers your baby’s body to produce more infection-fighting white blood cells.
The key to hydration at any age is to keep the quantities of liquid very small. Don’t allow your child to take sips (or gulps) of water or an electrolyte drink; rather, give only a teaspoon every five to 10 minutes or so. When he is able to hold this much down, increase his intake to two teaspoons. Yes, he will be thirsty and unhappy, but if you allow him to take sips, he’ll get tablespoons of the fluid and throw up again.
In a word: regression. When the new baby arrives, much of your focus will be on her diapers—specifically, the pee and poop in those diapers. It can be hard for a toddler to see so much attention being paid to one family member’s elimination habits at the same time he’s supposed to be growing up and giving up his “nappies.”
It could be yeast (aka thrush), a fungus that grows in warm, moist areas such as a baby’s mouth
or diaper area, or on a breastfeeding mother’s nipples. To diagnose it, try gently scraping it off with your fingernail. Leftover milk will come off fairly easily; yeast won’t.
My first-line treatment for yeast is to mix 10 drops of grapefruit-seed extract per ounce of water. Apply this to your baby’s tongue (and, if you’re breastfeeding, to your nipples) every two to three hours for at least a week. If this doesn’t work, see your pediatrician.
Too much fluoride can permanently stain a child’s teeth, so before you supplement, determine how much your baby is getting from all sources (including your local water supply and infant formula), then talk with your pediatrician.